Alibaba's logistics arm raises funds from Singapore investors, others

A logo of Alibaba Group is pictured at its headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, October 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The logistics arm of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA.N has completed a funding round, China's biggest e-commerce company said on Monday.

Investors in the funding round of Cainiao include Singapore’s Temasek Holdings [TEM.UL] and GIC Pte Ltd [GIC.UL], Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Bhd [KHAZA.UL], and China’s Primavera Capital, Alibaba said in a statement.

Alibaba did not disclose details of how much money Cainiao raised, whether it issued equity shares, or at how much the logistics unit is now valued.

This is Cainiao’s first funding round since Alibaba founded it three years ago, the company said. Then, Alibaba and a group of Chinese logistics companies said they would spend 100 billion yuan ($15.40 billion) over five to eight years to develop a national logistics network.

It was not immediately clear whether Cainiao has already spent the 100 billion yuan money. An Alibaba spokesman declined to comment.

Alibaba is seeking to take a lead role in developing China’s fragmented package delivery industry, as e-commerce spreads beyond urban hubs and requires a more robust logistics network. In partnership with delivery businesses, Cainiao crunches reams of data on everything from order trends to delivery routes and weather patterns to increase efficiency.

Alibaba said it would work with investors to further build out its “big data logistics network”.

China's dominant e-commerce company has been fighting off stiff competition from smaller rival Inc JD.O, whose loss-making business model prioritizes controlling a large logistics network, like Inc's AMZN.O.

Reporting by Xiaoyi Shao in Beijing and John Ruwitch in Shanghai; Additional reporting by Anshuman Daga in Singapore and Paul Carsten in Beijing; Editing by Kim Coghill and Muralikumar Anantharaman